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Thread: Despite never playing NT, Al Woods overtakes Ta’amu on depth chart

  1. #1
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Despite never playing NT, Al Woods overtakes Ta’amu on depth chart

    Despite never playing NT, Al Woods overtakes Ta’amu on depth chart

    May 29th, 2013



    The Steelers used a fourth-round pick on Alameda Ta’amu a year ago, but it appears that the team is interested in another fourth-round pick to spell first-year starter Steve McLendon at nose tackle this year – Al Woods.

    The Steelers moved Woods – a 2010 fourth-round pick of New Orleans out of LSU – from defensive end to nose tackle for the start of organized team activities last week, and has aligned 6-foot-4, 307-pounder with the second-team so far.

    “I welcome it and am thankful that I am getting a shot to play all three,” said Woods, who was released three times in 14 months during his first year in the league.

    Woods played in 10 games last year for the Steelers at defensive end, but got on the field for only 30 snaps while playing behind Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward.

    The Steelers coaching staff approached Woods during the offseason about working him at a thin nose tackle position that featured McLendon as the starter along with Ta’amu and Loni Fangupo – who have seven career snaps between them. The Steelers decided not to re-sign veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton.

    “I am working all three positions,” Woods said. “Coach wants me to work all three positions so that’s what I am doing. I am just trying to help the team out anyway I can.”

    Woods is very athletic for his size but has to show that he can hold up to the constant double teams by centers and guards. Woods said quickly realized one big difference in playing nose compared to end.

    “Your reaction has to be faster,” Woods said. “Things down there, especially with a good center like Pouncey, happen real quick so you have to be fast.”

    Woods said he has yet to take many snaps in OTAs at defensive end which means that it is likely that the staff would love to have him as a swing nose/end during game days to be able to provide more flexibility with the game day roster.

    “I am listening to my coaches and when I go home, I am staying in my book trying to stay a day ahead,” Woods said. “I am trying to get comfortable with it so I don’t have to think about it and I just react to it.”

    And as Mike Tomlin always says … the more you can do.

    Moving around

    Steelers nose tackle/defensive end has been shipped all around the league since being a fourth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2010.

    April, 27, 2010 – New Orleans draft Al Woods in the fourth round
    Sept. 4, 2010 – New Orleans release Woods
    Sept. 8, 2010 – Steelers sign Woods to their practice squad
    Nov. 3, 2010 – Tampa Bay signs Woods to its 53-man roster
    Sept. 3, 2011 – Tampa Bay releases Woods
    Sept. 4, 2011 – Seattle signs Woods to its 53-man roster
    Nov. 8, 2011 – Seattle released Woods
    Nov. 9, 2011 – Steelers sign Woods to their 53-man roster

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  2. #2
    Starter Rara's Avatar
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    Ouch...NOT what I was expecting. Come on, Ta'Amu! Damn it!
    Rara's very early 2015 NFL Mock Draft
    Round 1- Jalen Collins, CB; LSU
    Round 2- Eric Lefeld, OT; Cincinatti
    Round 3- Tyler Kroft, TE; Rutgers
    Round 4- Geneo Grissom, OLB; Oklahoma
    Round 5- Jonathon Mincy, CB; Auburn
    Round 6- Jamil Douglas, OG; Arizona State
    Round 7- Spencer Roth, P; Baylor

  3. #3
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    OTAs are for experimenting. Just gives Woods some time to increase his position flexibility and add value. Much ado about nothing with regards to T-mu.

    I would love if it indicated our DC actually was looking for attacking, penetrating NTs and would actually allow them to attack the LOS versus holding and "occupying" blockers.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  4. #4
    Hall of Famer costanza2k1's Avatar
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    Could be a variety of things...it's still May, could also be a motivational tactic...who knows. August will be telling.
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  5. #5
    Didn't Keisel work at OLB during OTAs?

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    Dude definitely got some frequent flyer miles in 2010 and 2011. One day you live in NO then the next Pgh. Then one day it's Tampa. The next day you live in Seattle. Then back to the burgh! Yikes.

    This is really good on 2 fronts. Possibly gives Woods and the Steelers game-day roster flexibility (maybe he can be an effective nose w/ his athleticism). And even if it's determined he's a better fit at end, it hopefully lights a huge fire under Ta'amu's south side drinking a$$ and lets him know he's not being given anything, he's got to work! Lets find out if they have a legitimate player or if it's time to cut ties and move on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    OTAs are for experimenting. Just gives Woods some time to increase his position flexibility and add value. Much ado about nothing with regards to T-mu.

    I would love if it indicated our DC actually was looking for attacking, penetrating NTs and would actually allow them to attack the LOS versus holding and "occupying" blockers.
    I'd rather fast athletic line backers attack the qb than fat slow nose tackles. if he can push the center back into the qb, great, but if he can't hold the point of attack get him off the field.
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    Does this say we're looking at doing something differently on D this year? McClendon and Woods are nothing like Casey. The only guy on the roster that even remotely looks like he would be similar to Casey is Fangupo.

  9. #9
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    There is no solid depth chart at this time of year. They are just trying things out. Chris Hoke stuck around forever because he could play both NT and DE. Steve McLendon stuck on our roster because he could play both NT and DE. Woods may be taking a similar path. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Ta'Amu or Fangupo aren't working out.

  10. #10
    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    Does this say we're looking at doing something differently on D this year? McClendon and Woods are nothing like Casey. The only guy on the roster that even remotely looks like he would be similar to Casey is Fangupo.
    I just hope some of these guys step up this year. In my opinion, we have a ton of solid d-line depth but I question the starters more than anything.

    The NT position is up for grabs.... Fangupo, Ta'amu, Al Woods, McClendon.

    Keisel has one DE spot locked down. Ziggy Hood, Heyward, Al Woods, McClendon are all possibilities at DE.

    I really like the depth but a couple of these guys need to separate themselves and become legit starters. It's time to step up.

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